Synopses & Reviews
A hefty collection of noted anarchist Nicolas Walters writings, this history recounts the anarchist and peace movements in the United Kingdom alongside the authors adventures through activism. Inspired by the Suez and Hungarian Revolutions and his participation in the New Left, Walter became an anarchist and proponent of the freethought movement. Recounting his personal history in two autobiographical pieces, the author reflects on his militant involvement in the British nuclear disarmament movement, his experience as one of the Spies of Peace, and his connection to the Solidarity group.
As an activist, Walter concurrently analyzed history, political theory, and activist practices, which he combined to form the backbone upon which he built his beliefs. Also included are musings on various intellectual and political figures such as George Orwell, Herbert Read, C. W. Daniel, and Guy A. Aldred, in addition to ruminations on the atheism and rationalism and the limitations of academia.
“[Nicolas Walter was] one of the most interesting left intellectuals of the second half of the twentieth century in Britain.” Professor Richard Taylor, University of Cambridge
“David Goodway has done his usual excellent job of selecting an interesting and varied collection [and] contributed a most useful and informative introduction…” Richard Alexander, Freedom on The Anarchist Past
"Lots of anarchist writing is pretty thin going. The constant reiteration of the same mantra-like assertions, the same insights, and the same proposed solutions, all confined to a given community, a holding tank of acceptable ideas, with the whole dedicated to knocking down straw men of the polemicist's construction. Unceasingly. It gets old fast.
Imagine, then, how excited I was to find a book of essays that addresses subjects outside the narrow confines of accepted anarchist orthodoxy, a book that further investigates the work of major writers from a distinctly libertarian perspective and holds forth from an unfailingly utopian point of view on broad issues germane to the past 40 years, such as nuclear disarmament and the role of freedom of thought in a free society. Such a book is Nicolas Walter's Damned Fools in Utopia: And Other Writings on Anarchism and War Resistance." Chris Faatz, Powells.com (Read the entire Powells.com review)
About the Author
Nicolas Walter was one of the best-known and mostly widely read anarchist writers of the last half century. He is the author of About Anarchism
David Goodway is a British social and cultural historian who has written principally on anarchism and libertarian socialism for 20 years. He is the editor of various collections and the author of For Workers Powers.